Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Becker and Djokovic are starting to flourish

By Eleanor Crooks

Published 08/07/2014

Novak Djokovic lifted £1.76 million for winning Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic lifted £1.76 million for winning Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon title was not just the sweetest of his seven grand slam trophies but also vindication of his decision to hire Boris Becker as head coach.

Djokovic's appointment of the three-time Wimbledon champion in December was the most surprising of the spate of former superstars coming back into the game.

Unlike Roger Federer, who hired Stefan Edberg as a part-time adviser to work alongside regular coach Severin Luthi, Djokovic made Becker his main coach.

Marian Vajda, with whom Djokovic had won all his senior titles, would instead fill the role of part-time coach.

The partnership got off to an inauspicious start when Djokovic failed to win a fourth consecutive Australian Open title, a quarter-final loss to Stan Wawrinka his earliest at a grand slam for four seasons.

Djokovic did not win a title until his first tournament back with Vajda in Indian Wells in March, and he won again two weeks later with the Slovak in his corner after Becker underwent hip surgery.

The Serbian turned to Becker to try to give him the edge in grand slam finals again after a losing run and at the All England Club, with Vajda back home, it all fell into place as he defeated Federer in five sets.

Djokovic admitted there had been difficulties, saying: "You can't expect the relationship to start off right away with a grand slam.

"Obviously because of the difference in character and approach, we're different people and it took some time to get that understanding going and the right chemistry.

"There were a few things Boris said that were important but most of all is the mental toughness and the self belief.

"He believes in my game, he knows that I have the game to win this tournament and I just needed to hang in there and stay tough regardless of what I go through on the court."

Djokovic reclaimed the No.1 World ranking with his victory.

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